This old violin has lost
some of her strings
and like many an ACOA*
she’s filled to the brim
with lizards and things
but mainly her stuffing is jello.
When I awoke in the night
and turned on the light
I prayed (to the Universe)
that today would be free
in its entirety of fight.
*Adult Children of Alcoholics
She listened well, very well.
When he was drunk, she could
put him back on track. He was
so full of himself (aka her) that
one day when he stepped on her
she stuck to the bottom of his
shoe. He saw her in his d.t.’s
and never knew she was there
so close, just squished, still out of
sight, carried through life on the bottom
of his smelly old shoe. It’s called
trauma bonding. Avoid it if you can.
(Gestalt Goodbyes include appreciatons, resentments, and regrets.)
Things that I appreciated about you, Daddy: your encouraging me to write creatively; your encouraging me to draw; your teaching me and coaching me to play tennis; your intelligence and lively mind; your sense of humor , and the day I left my homework at home and you chased the city bus downtown to give it to me.
Things I resented about you: your lack of work ethic; your lying in bed all the time you were home; your sense of entitlement –it seemed you thought the world owed you a lot that you really didn’t deserve; the way you treated Mother; your molesting me; your scrambling my mind with conflicting messages about sex and life; your lack of insight into your problems; your being willing to subject the family to your alcoholic lifestyle; your insising I return home when I had the chance at a much better life with my maternal grandparents; you frightening me when you straggered through the house.
Things I regret: that you remained a weak victim of your father’s molestation; that you suffered and did not become a father I could respect; that you gave up on yourself and tried to live your life through me. I’m afraid that covers it all. Goodbye to you and all that.
Reprinted from FALLOUT: A Survivor Talks to Incest Offenders.